Ebay sells StubHub to Viagogo for $4bn

Ebay is set to sell its online ticketing business StubHub to rival Viagogo amid continued pressure from activist investors to reforms its operations.

StubHub is set to be sold to Viagogo for $4.05 billion (£3.15 billion) if approved by regulators, with the deal expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Viagogo’s chief executive Eric Baker actually co-founded StubHub while he was in business school, however he left before the company was sold to Ebay in 2007 for $310 million (£241.17 million).

Activist investors Elliott Management and Starboard Value, which purchased a stake in Ebay and introduced members to its board earlier this year, have been piling pressure on the company to offload StubHub and its classified business Gumtree for months.

READ MORE: Ebay’s CEO David Wenig quits abruptly over disagreements with board

In March Ebay conceded and launched an in-depth strategic review of its business, a move which caused rifts in its boardroom.

This culminated in the shock departure of its chief executive David Wenig in September, who said it was clear he was “not on the same page as my new board”.

“We believe this transaction is a great outcome and maximises long-term value for Ebay shareholders,” Ebay’s interim chief executive Scott Schenkel said.

“Over the past several months, Ebay’s leadership team and board of directors have been engaged in a thorough review of our current strategies and portfolio, and we concluded that this was the best path forward for both Ebay and StubHub.

“We firmly believe in the StubHub business and we are excited about its future growth potential with Viagogo as its owner.”

StubHub said in a statement: “Eric clearly sees strong opportunity for the two businesses. He founded StubHub 19 years ago and feels so passionately about the business that he organized his people and the financial resources to buy it back. He is all in, which is fantastic for the company going forward”.

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